It could have been Hawkeyes-Roadrunners in NYC

NIT marches on, without Iowa

Iowa guard Peter Jok (14) dives into the sidelines during overtime of the Hawkeyes’ second-round loss to TCU Sunday at the men’s National Invitation Tournament at Carver Hawkeye Arena. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Iowa guard Peter Jok (14) dives into the sidelines during overtime of the Hawkeyes’ second-round loss to TCU Sunday at the men’s National Invitation Tournament at Carver Hawkeye Arena. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

Remember the NIT?

That’s the basketball tournament Iowa was in until early Sunday evening. It was fun while it lasted. There was a sellout crowd of 15,400 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena Sunday for TCU-Iowa, which should have freaked out TCU but instead only made it play better, and the Horned Frogs won in overtime.

TCU had been to Kansas and Iowa State, so it was battle-tested in front of large, loud crowds, I guess.

Anyway, the NIT is still going on. And these are the four semifinalists:

No. 4-seed TCU: Finished 6-12 in the Big 12 after losing its last seven games, then beat Oklahoma and Kansas in the Big 12 tourney before getting losing 84-63 to Iowa State.

No. 6-seed Georgia Tech: Hosted Indiana in the first round of the NIT because Indiana simply did not want to have a home game and be embarrassed by all the empty seats. The Hoosiers lost in Atlanta and promptly fired coach Tom Crean.

No. 8-seed Cal State-Bakersfield: The Roadrunners won at California, Colorado State and Texas-Arlington.

No. 4-seed Central Florida: Got a home game against Illinois that it won to send it to New York because Illinois’ State Farm Center was booked with a performance of the musical “42nd Street.”

I’m rooting for Bakersfield. The Roadrunners never got an NIT home game, but they are getting a pep rally on their campus Thursday afternoon. According to the school’s men’s basketball website, Chick-Fil-A will be handing out appetizers and prizes to all in attendance.

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